Artificial Intelligence is good in predicting many events which are completely controlled. But when it comes to predicting events like athletics, soccer and even horse racing, these AI systems struggle. Why? Those events are extremely stochastic – anything can happen.
In this year Kentucky Derby, we are learning just as much.
A platform that crowdsources the insights of experts to make predictions on events has come up short in its second attempt to call the Kentucky Derby. Unanimous A.I., a company touting the power of collective intelligence to provide insights into the future, correctly predicted the top four finishers of the 2016 Derby:
UNU unleashes the brainpower of groups, combining their knowledge, opinions, and instincts into a Swarm Intelligence that is often smarter and more insightful than the individuals would be alone. From sports and politics, to gaming and movies, you can ask UNU anything
But the system didn’t turn out to be nearly as accurate this year. Two of its top four picks missed expectations significantly, and it failed to foresee the emergence of one dark horse.
A Unanimous AI UNU swarm struggles to predict Kentucky Derby favorite Classic Empire will win this year’s race
Still, the company seems to accept that it essentially got lucky with its 2016 picks. “Some outcomes are just not predictable,” it wrote after the race. It’s a lesson that the missteps of much-hyped big data efforts, such as attempts to predict last year’s U.S. election, continue to drive home.
Do not be fooled, big data does not equate to common sense. Most times, there are things which are highly uncorrelated, big data or AI or not.